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Exploration Untold

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Past event - 2021
14 Oct 6pm to 7pm
(UK time)
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Meet three researchers each of whom will offer us insight into Antarctica’s scientific past. We take a new look at the heroic era, at the early days of the famous Halley station and reflect upon the stories of those whom are not usually given the spotlight, but whose contributions have been vital to our understanding of our planet.

Photo by Long Ma on Unsplash

A very short history of the science and people of Halley station, Antarctica

Alice Oates (Historical geographer)
Halley research station is a British Antarctic Survey research station with international importance. Established in 1955 – 56 for the International Geophysical Year, Halley boasts more than 60 years of work in fields such as atmospheric science, space weather research, and climate science. Science undertaken at Halley has had global impact, most notably the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer in 1984. Contemporary data collected at Halley is connected to international efforts to understand not only Antarctica, but the world and beyond. Halley has also been home to the people who throughout its lifetime have run the base and collected data. This talk will take a brief dive into the history of Halley as both a space for science, and a home for the people that work there.

The Last Refuge of Male Chauvinism: Masculinity and the Exclusion of Women in the British Antarctic Survey

Dr Daniella McCahey (Historian)
Through the 20th century, Antarctica was often designated as a “world of men.” In this presentation, I will briefly explain the historical justifications for excluding women, how this exclusion was reinforced not only by policy, but by the culture at BAS stations. Finally, I will show how this history continues to have impacts in terms of gender relations in Antarctic science.

What is a hero anyway?

Henrietta Hammant (Researcher, Anthropology of Heritage, University of Reading)
When you think about Antarctic explorers do you imagine Captain Robert Falcon Scott struggling to the bitter end to find the South Pole? Perhaps your mind joins Sir Ernest Shackleton’s epic lifeboat voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia? But what were these men doing in the Antarctic when they weren’t fighting for their lives and why do we only remember the peril? My research asks how we came to think of Scott and Shackleton as heroes of Antarctic exploration and considers how their identities might still be being shaped today.

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